How Much Money I Spent In 2021

As a full-time writer traveling around the world.

Matt Lillywhite
6 min readJan 9, 2022


Photo via Pexels

A few years ago, I didn’t know how to pay rent or put food on the table. I had no job, dwindling savings, and spent every day trying to make a few dollars online.

I put myself in a position where I wrote every day to afford the basic necessities of life. Although I don’t recommend following the same strategy, it was certainly a good source of motivation to show up every day and publish new articles.

Now, I’m in a much better financial position. I make more than enough to travel the world and live a very comfortable lifestyle. And since lots of people have already written about how much they earned in 2021, I thought it would be fun to be transparent and show a different side of the coin.

Here’s how much I spent in 2021:

Food — $5,044.

Since March 2020, I’ve been getting a lot of my groceries delivered via Instacart or Uber Eats since it’s a lot more convenient than getting the bus to the grocery store. Plus, I tip pretty generously, so it’s a win-win for everyone.

I try to eat reasonably healthy meals. However, I also enjoy Pop-Tarts, Maple Syrup, and other delights filled with sugary goodness. But per week, the average amount I spent on food (including tips) was $97.

Subscriptions — $1,781

I need to be honest with you… I’m a sucker for free trials.

Many companies will advertise a 28-day free trial and hope customers forget to cancel before the trial expires. Guess what? I forget to cancel every single time. Therefore, during 2021, I had to pay approximately $485 for unwanted subscriptions that I forgot to cancel.

It’s worth mentioning that I’ve become an avid consumer of YouTube Premium. There are no ads, and I can download videos to watch offline. It’s worth every cent. I also pay for Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Grammarly.

Hotels — $17,500.

I spent several months staying in hotels throughout the latter half of 2021. They were often cheaper than Airbnbs in several places I visited. Also, they were more conveniently located for business…